How Would You Save Nintendo’s Bacon?

Things aren't so rosy for the Big N at the moment, so let's play armchair quarterback with a multi-billion dollar business.

Article by USgamer Team, .

Every jerk with an opinion and a forum account has responded to Nintendo's recent bad news by gracing the rest of the world with their brilliant amateur-hour financial advice. And far be it from us to consider ourselves above the fracas! We can be jerks, too!

Nintendo has revised its earnings forecast for fiscal year 2013 downward to the tune of one billion -- that's "billion," with a B -- American dollars. That is a catastrophic failure. Nevertheless, the current CEO of Nintendo, Satoru Iwata, has stated he has no intention of resigning and reportedly plans to mollify his shareholders by dipping into the company's war chest to make sure every Nintendo investor walks away from the current fiscal year with a little money in their pocket, despite the loss. So despite the gruesome numbers, things seem stable for Nintendo, business-wise... at least for the immediate future, anyway. But even a company with as much cash tucked under its mattress as Nintendo can't carry on like this forever. So here is how we at USgamer, whose business and financial expertise consists entirely of "playing a lot of video games," would save Nintendo.

"Trust us, we're professionals."

Jeremy Parish: Nintendo should go third-party! what boring people say. No, forget that nonsense. Never mind the fact that I don't want to see the last of the old guard retreat from hardware simply for the satisfaction of my own nostalgia; Nintendo's games excel because the company can afford to make its own rules. It designs hardware for its own needs, builds a business model to promotes its first-class first-party content at the expense of all else. I'd like to see Nintendo continue to make its own quirky hardware and top-flight software, but I also want them to realize that they need to tilt the playing field in favor of third parties, too. A quarter-century after publishers jumped ship from NES to Genesis in droves in pursuit of a bigger slice of a pie, Nintendo still doesn't seem to get the importance of third-party material. And yes, Nintendo's internal brands are premium material, but even the shiniest star can grow tarnished from overexposure.

I'd like to see Nintendo make some back room maneuvers in the west they way they have in Japan, where they've locked down pretty much every franchise of note save for hardcore otaku-bait. Western publishers aren't going to lock themselves into exclusive deals with Nintendo, but Nintendo could definitely make a more sincere effort to appeal to them.

This is a long-term venture I'm talking about here, one that involves abandoning the Wii U with as much haste as they can muster. Maybe announce a replacement next year at E3 -- but continue supporting the Wii U until the replacement arrives. The last thing they want to do is make the mistake Sega made when it came time to phase out Saturn; that one-year gap between Saturn and Dreamcast didn't do any favors to Sega's market share. Keep Wii U going, but build a smarter, friendlier, more clearly useful machine… and take a page from Sony's book by making developers heavily involved in the console's design.

Nintendo has been here before, during the GameCube era, and they have the money to keep the business afloat until they can kick off a new system. And much as with the DS in 2004, Wii U's replacement would be a rise to heaven/sink to hell proposition. If that sinks to hell, well, then it's probably time to cash in the chips. But I want to think Nintendo can still make it on its own terms, if only because of what it means for the games industry at large if it can.

2.3 million gamers can't be wrong... can they?

Mike Williams: Nintendo's problem is they can't burn the Wii U off quickly. That would erode confidence in future Nintendo hardware, much like Sega's 32X euthanasia negatively affected their brand. They have to keep supporting the Wii U; at the very least they need to take this time to overcome any organizational deficiencies stemming from developing HD games or robust online ecosystems. They can't win with the Wii U, but they can definitely learn from it. If there's a replacement, I could see it coming in 2016: Announced at E3 that year and out by the holiday shopping season.

The Wii U's issue was one I stated repeatedly leading up to the console's launch: They had no clear, deep audience. There was no guarantee that the "blue ocean" audience of the Wii was coming back for a second round. Mainstream consumers who were more interested in gaming probably already owned a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360, so even multi-platform games at parity (like Assassin's Creed III) had an uphill battle. Why pay for a new system and AC III, when it only looks marginally better than the version you can purchase on the console you already own? And ‘core' gamers were already on PC or waiting for the Xbox One or PlayStation 4, both of which were mostly rumors when the Wii U launched. That leaves Nintendo fans, which isn't a big enough market to keep a system competitive, especially since they can get a fix on 3DS.

The Wii U is just there in this odd grey area between markets, floating on driftwood and hoping someone will rescue it. So how do we save it?

Albatrosses: Now available in gloss black.

I'd probably cut to a GamePad-less Wii U for starters. Get that price down. And I'd think long and hard about letting the Western arm of the company find some more autonomy. Let Retro and Next Level work on some of their own properties; with digital it becomes much easier to experiment with smaller titles. Start actively courting US and European developers, not for the Wii U, but for the next console. And listen to them. If they say what they want out of a Nintendo box is more power and a better online system, do it. Take that war chest and hire some great people to make it happen.

Cassandra Khaw: You know what'd really rock? Better selection of games for those outside of the United States, Europe and Japan. Take Malaysia, for example. The Nintendo eShop is absolutely barren here. I'm forced to jump hoops if I want to download anything. It's exasperating and, more often than not, I tend to find myself sidetracked by more immediate gratification because I can purchase a new game. Let's make something clear: I'm not angling for a crusade against region-locking here. I'm not a big fan but I understand it's sometimes a necessary evil due to licensing, publishing deals and so on. But a touch more support for the red-headed stepchildren of the gaming world would probably go down swimmingly.

On a more realistic note, I'd love to see, just, love for the Nintendo eShop. I get told repeatedly that it contains gems but the curse of shovelware hangs thickly around its third-party products. The other big names like Sony, Microsoft and even Valve (are they officially part of the console wars yet?) have done amazingly well by promoting their indie developers. And Nintendo could probably benefit from following their example. More curation! More active interest in cultivating commendable third-party parties like the guys behind Steamworld Dig and Swords & Soldiers! More guarantee that my casual browsing of the Nintendo eShop won't end in disappointment. It's way better than it used to be, but the eShop is still in drastic need of improvement.

Jaz Rignall: I'm with Mike on the GamePad-less Wii U. There are a few reasons why Wii U isn't selling. One is price, and the other is that people just don't get it. There's also a software issue -- but we can get to that later. The former two things can be fixed with a Wii U "Classic" console. It's a Wii U without that expensive screen. Use those nice Wii U pro controllers to clearly articulate the message that Wii U is a plain old-fashioned console everyone can understand, and throw it out the door for $129.99 - or however cheaply it can be made.

"I'd think long and hard about letting the Western arm of the company find some more autonomy. Let Retro and Next Level work on some of their own properties."

Jeremy: Yeah, I was once pretty averse to the idea of a pad-less Wii U, but better to admit defeat with a small hardware gimmick than with the larger business. Stubborn pride has to bow out sooner or later, and I would say "white-knuckle survival" marks that particular turning point.

That being said, I want to rescind my previous comments. All of that stuff I wrote above was also boring and predictable. I've decided what I want Nintendo to do is embrace its heritage. Like, it's really, really old-school heritage. Before the company was a video game maker, it was… well, it was a little bit of everything. It made toys, it made licensed goods, it made instant ramen, it maintained a chain of euphemistically named "love hotels" -- you name it. Nintendo found its golden goose when it discovered video games, but maybe the company needs to diversify. Get into selling real estate. Publishing books. Cosmetics. I don't know, something else. Find some way to make a steady living doing something other than video games. Then it can afford to peddle unprofitable hardware all it likes -- the Wii U as a fun vanity side project!

Mike: So you're saying that Nintendo should go the same route as Rovio, a company that recently mentioned that more than half of its employees aren't even developers at this point? Instead of chasing more games, Rovio is strongly concerned with getting the games it does has out there. On shirts, posters, lunch boxes, movies, and television shows. It's a very Disney way of doing things.

20 years ago, this would have been called "Nintendo Comics System."

And the thing is, Nintendo used to do this. Captain N, the Super Mario Bros Super Show, the hideous Super Mario Bros movie. Why are they letting Rovio suck up the mindshare of today's kids? I talked about letting Nintendo devs play a bit more. Remember the SNES era? Stunt Race FX, Uniracers, Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball, and even Donkey Kong Country are all great games that came from the Western side of Nintendo. Why aren't they letting those developers have a longer leash?

Nintendo has to pull itself in two directions. It has to go back to its roots and embrace its more experimental side, but it also needs to get with the times when it comes to things like online infrastructure and outside merchandising.

Jaz: One of Wii U's biggest stigmas is its name. It isn't alluring -- and it certainly confuses many consumers, who just think it's some kind of tablet add-on that they don't need. If a GamePad-less Wii U was released, rebrand it as something like Nintendo Entertainment System Online and I'm sure consumers would pay attention. It'll leverage fond memories while also getting across the message that it's a new system. Oh, and open up the damn door so that more developers can leverage their old back catalog on virtual console, and make it even easier for indie developers to make games for the system.

Wouldn't it be great if Nintendo's Virtual Console were an all-you-can eat streaming service? But it's not, so everyone will have to make do with PlayStation Now.

Another thing I believe Nintendo needs to do is improve its online presence and eShopping experience. I'm going a little off-topic since this is supposed to be about Wii U -- but if we're talking about ideas to help Nintendo improve its lot, I do think making the experience of finding and buying Nintendo games easy and fun should be part of that. Right now, the eShop just isn't particularly helpful or usable, which mystifies me considering how much is at stake here.

A better shopping experience combined with the expanded virtual console and indie program I talked about above, and you'd at least have a baseline system that would have the potential to effectively compete with the likes of Sony's upcoming PlayStation Now service. Layer an affordable and fun "classic" Nintendo console on top of that, and you have something that's a clear alternative to the two expensive consoles that are currently kicking ass. Indeed, if it's priced right, thanks to Nintendo's always-phenomenal first-party games, it could very well become the "second system" everyone would want -- whether you own a PS4 or an Xbox One.

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Comments 19

  • Avatar for TernBird #1 TernBird 4 years ago
    Jeremy's suggestions make sense.

    A lot of people I've spoken to (i.e., my friends) mostly argue that, yeah, Nintendo's creativity is what makes them "them", and precisely why they shouldn't go third-party: there's no way Microsoft would have allowed Wind Waker to be cel-shaded. But, Nintendo's stubborness is holding them back: this needs to change.

    I like Jeremy's and Cassandra's suggestions. The notion of a new console coming out within two years also makes sense--this year's crop of games can hold us off until then, yeah? Nintendo would have to start work on such a thing yesterday, though.
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  • Avatar for Funny_Colour_Blue #2 Funny_Colour_Blue 4 years ago
    "So here is how we at USgamer, whose business and financial expertise consists entirely of "playing a lot of video games," would save Nintendo."

    "Trust us, we're professionals."

    This is why I love USgamer! Reading through these sort of articles over "what 'X company' should do next to stay on top" is always cringe worthy, but interesting nonetheless.

    A gamepad-less Wii U sounds somewhat similar to a non-backwards compatible PS3. So that's a route they probably could take. But looking over Nintendo’s sordid history…

    -The Virtual Boy was considered a failure.

    -The “Nintendo 64” was a contender to the Playstation’s success.

    -And the Gamecube was still able to hold it's own and become moderately successful.

    Over the years I’d say Nintendo has grown quite comfortable in taking 3rd or 2nd place.

    But the spirit of the company’s success has always seemed to be in the pursuit of “what’s fun”; when they can allow themselves to go against the grain and create something “new and entirely different” from the competition - even when that something “new and entirely different” is often considered a failure.

    Nintendo doesn't have to be “great”, they just have to sustain themselves long enough until they can figure out what the next big “thing” is going to be and then make it.

    You have to remember, they started out as a playing card company. They make "games". They're very much like toy makers. The decisions they've made and the products they've designed very much reflect that mentality.

    !Edited 4 times. Last edited January 2014 by Funny_Colour_Blue
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  • Avatar for EuroDarlan #3 EuroDarlan 4 years ago
    I can't help but feel like people overestimate the benefits that creating their own hardware does for Nintendo: Ocarina of Time sure as heck wasn't made with a classic Wii controller in mind, but it plays just fine there! A traditional 360 or PS4 gamepad would serve Mario and co just fine. Regardless, they'll never go third party anyhow, so it's a moot point.

    It seems to me they just need to weather out the rest of the Wiiu/3DS generation with crap sales as best they can, and then release a portable/console hybrid device that is basically a super powered DS system that has an HDMI output dongle. That way, their great but limited software output isn't being split between two platforms.

    I like my Wii U just fine, but I vastly prefer to play with the Pro Controller over the gamepad. It's just more comfortable, and nothing uses that second screen for anything terribly interesting anyway, so getting rid of it to lower the cost sounds like a great idea to me.

    Also, it'll never happen, but it would be great to see a Steam-like virtual console app for computers that has their classics--not a partnership with some other company, have it be their own app, but tons of people would love to have the classics on their pcs and laptops. Sure, they'd want to avoid putting recent games on there in order to not devalue their hardware, but if Mario 3 and 64 are legally playable on a computer, no one's going to look at Mario Galaxy 3 or whatever in 2016 and say "eh, it'll be on my PC in a decade or two, may as well wait."Edited January 2014 by EuroDarlan
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  • Avatar for SOUP32 #4 SOUP32 4 years ago
    I don`t really think cutting the game-pad would be the best idea. I just got a Wii U about 3 weeks ago, and about 90% of the time, I`m playing games directly on the gamepad, while watching Netflix on my PS3. I never thought I`d use it that much, but it`s become the biggest selling point for me.

    As far as what I`d like to see them do to turn things around:
    - Unify purchases (ala PSN): Say someone buys an NES game on the 3DS, that should give them access to the same game on the Wii U. That way, they`ve accumulated a few Wii U games before they even have the system. This strategy was a big influence on me picking up a Vita 2 years ago.

    Along the same lines, get on that Virtual Console. The fact that I have to switch the console into "Wii Mode" to access most titles is pretty ridiculous. They have this amazing library, and they should be making it easier for consumers to get to and access.
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  • Avatar for TernBird #5 TernBird 4 years ago
    @SOUP32 I think you hit the nail on the head. Nintendo's account system, I can overlook. That certain games on their network are console-exclusive is flabbergasting. I mean, why isn't Earthbound available for the 3DS? What, can't a 3DS run Super Metroid? Do you mean to tell me Dillon's Rolling Western won't work with the Wii U's gamepad?
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  • Avatar for sam-stephens #6 sam-stephens 4 years ago
    The question proposed by the title of this article is a difficult one for me. I like Nintendo the way they are. In terms of quality titles, the company is at the top of their game (pun intended) right now. The Wii U gamepad is design genius and will continue to facilitate excellent design ideas in the future. But what makes the console great is much more difficult to articulate to consumers than the Wii and the DS. Third-party developers have not flocked to it because Nintendo created the system to fit their own particular vision with unique creative limitations that developers don't wish to impose on themselves or don't have the imagination to work within. So the seemingly obvious solution, as the authors seem to see it, would be to just create more conventional (gamepad-less) hardware in the future. I honestly don't have the business knowledge to say that such measures would prove to be financially beneficial to Nintendo or not. However, I do know that it would be an unfortunate compromise for a company whose strengths historically lie in their ability to appease a mass audience while retaining the integrity of their artful designs in a space that is moving more towards giving players what they want instead of having players that want what is being given.Edited January 2014 by sam-stephens
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  • Avatar for chiptoon #7 chiptoon 4 years ago
    Cassandra's comment about availability outside of the big 3 markets is incredibly relevant. Here in South Africa Nintendo games are becoming harder and harder to find at retail. Wii U games are almost non existent in shops, but 3DS games aren't much better. This is incredibly frustrating for eager users like myself, but also makes Nintendo almost invisible.
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  • Avatar for Stevegasm #8 Stevegasm 4 years ago
    I think Nintendo should ride this out. I really don't see this generation being all that long anyway.

    Eighth gen is coming out on the cusp of a tech change in TVs. A 55" is about $3500 now. Shouldn't take too long to be affordable (under $2000) like similar sized HDTVs have been for the last 5 or 6 years.

    With PC gaming leading the way with the adoption of the higher rez stuff, it's going to make the PS4 and XB1 look outdated pretty fast. Watching the Youtube video by Ubisoft and the making of the 4K version of AC4 you can already see huge differences. It's not only TV though. Just looking at what the Tegra K1 can do for mobile is a sign of things to come.

    6th gen only lasted 4 or 5 years before 7th gen came around along with the rise of HDTV. I wouldn't be surprised if 8th gen was shorter than 6th.

    So long as the 3DS can hold them together for a while and they're not bleeding cash too badly, they have the resources to design a decently powerful system into the 9th generation. The thing they need to do is make it third party friendly.

    I'm not sure where most of you stand, but I feel Nintendo is the only first party developer that makes games nobody else can duplicate. Third party developers in general seem to be on par with MS and Sony first party with only a few exceptions. If Nintendo makes a powerful third party friendly system with online capabilities that closely matches XBL or PSN, I wouldn't see any reason to get an Xbox or a PlayStation.
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  • Avatar for Frosty840 #9 Frosty840 4 years ago
    Honestly, the only thing stopping me from picking up a WiiU at the moment is the price of older games.
    For a console of its age, I'd expect to be able to buy the console, and pick up a few older games for a pittance. At the moment, picking up a few older games will basically double the price of the console for me.
    I can't imagine that will ever appeal to me, so I can't see myself ever picking up the console. End of story for me.
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  • Avatar for nickthegun #10 nickthegun 4 years ago
    I dont see why nintendo couldnt go third party. They could still dance to their own tune and the 'hardware' thing is garbage.

    Theres nothing in 3D World that couldnt be done on an xbox or Playstation.
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  • Avatar for jimdove76 #11 jimdove76 4 years ago
    I dont think they need savin, they have more cash reserves than the gods. They make a shitload from handhelds they could afford another 5 Wii U type disasters. Once the wii u drops to a decent price (for what it is) everyone will buy it as a 2nd or 3rd console. The Nintendo exclusives are actually worth playing, unlike the exclusive shit on the xbone or PS brands.
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  • Avatar for Thusian #12 Thusian 4 years ago
    I think they need to release the successor to the 3DS early and incorporate the WiiU tech. Imagine you hook a little puck up to the TV and when its available you stream your DS out to it and you can sync up other controllers if you want to do multi player on the couch. Sell it with the Puck and without for multiple handheld households. Enable multiple handhelds to sync to the puck for 4 swords type games. One system, portable/console a good value, with BC if possible.

    Finally this allows them to put all of their internal software on one system allowing their first party to carry a lot of the burden of building install base without being spread too thin across two platforms. Also with the Wii U not a hit port the good games available to this handheld as launch titles if its powerful enough and offer WiiU purchasers this software for free if they purchase the Super DS or Super 3DS or whatever you want to call it. I think that would be a hit if the price hit a sweet spot.

    Some of the things are in progress, some things they are doing, they just don’t seem to be able to do them fast enough or actually correct misconceptions.
    The WiiU has no games – ZombiU, the Superior Version of Rayman Legends, a trio of fun Mario Games, Pikmin 3, Wonderful 101, Nintendoland, Lego Cit are the only real exclusive games to the platform and even when the ports are good with features not found in the other platforms people are just not interested.

    The mistake they made was thinking people would even count Deus Ex, Batman, The Downloadable games toward the library, they don’t the audience that gives crap about those games bought a system capable of playing them years ago. It was a mistake to even think that having cross platform releases would in any way contribute to the library, so it looks lacking to us, but fine to the management. People say they should just release more 1st party games, but I can not think of one single publisher that, when you look across 3DS and WiiU put out as many games last year, and at the level of polish they had.
    Nintendo needs to fix the Virtual Console – the cross buy is a valid complaint and anything first party is a big question mark. The third party back catalog, I would not be at all surprised if they can’t even get the rights because they don’t care about putting that stuff out Square is too focused on iOS.

    Nintendo should have built a system the same as PS4 and XBONE – I’m not sure if they’re structured to even do so and like I said about x-platform stuff above I think that would be a suicide move. Making themselves more like Sony and MS only puts them in a worse position not a better one. People would just say why buy that when I can get a PS4. I also think Nintendo is resisting cutting edge hardware for their own internal software dev costs. They don’t want the next Zelda to cost what GTA did to produce because their margins couldn’t bear it.

    Nintendo needs new IP – X is in development, They are publishing things to flesh out like Wonderful 101 and Beyonetta. I blame us a bit for this what was the last Nintendo new IP to shake things up that we actually bought into, Pikmin didn’t save the Game Cube. Whenever they do a conference if we don’t see Mario or Zelda we bitch, so I think they thought we were getting what we wanted. In fairness despite being an old IP 3D world was pretty great and the last 3DS Zelda was amazing. I personally don’t care if its the same IP if the quality is there, you may be different.
    I think the biggest problem isn’t Sony and MS, I think Nintendo is competing with themselves. The WiiU can play Amazing Mario and Zelda games without using your TV, you know what else can a 3DS, and I say that as a guy who likes his WiiU (playing Deus Ex right now). Thing is people have decided which system to get their Nintendo fix from if they need it and for most of them its the 3DS if they still care about games at all.
    If they still want to go down the road with WiiU they actually need more couch multiplayer party games to get the main stream audience interested, but I don’t think that will work now.
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  • Avatar for Thusian #13 Thusian 4 years ago
    @nickthegun Yes, and I appreciate if you don't like the game, but Nintendoland couldn't be done for PS4 or XBONE without relying on peripherals the audience may or may not have.

    I for one have friends over all the time and surprisingly Animal Crossing Sweet Day is the game of choice typically.
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  • Avatar for TernBird #14 TernBird 4 years ago
    @nickthegun Here's the thing: Nintendo's games do go into offbeat areas. Again: they took Zelda, which had made piles of fans with its "realistic" Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask... and followed up with the cell-shaded Wind Waker. It was a gutsy move, and it worked in the end--but, who would have let them do it? This is ignoring how Nintendo wouldn't return to the "realistic" style until Twilight Princess.

    Nintendo is sometimes too creative for their own good (see: Tingle's Freshly-Picked Rupee Land), and a company dedicated to more "traditional" gaming concepts would probably veto ideas like that. Nintendo's habit of ignoring the voice of their fans is their best/worst feature: it can either lead to great ideas or terrible ones.
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  • Avatar for docexe #15 docexe 4 years ago
    The way Iwata phrased his comments when announcing the forecast reductions, seems to imply that Nintendo is preparing to stop hardware manufacturing and start publishing games on mobile. That is worrying to me because I don’t think Nintendo will be so successful as a 3rd party publisher or mobile developer, mostly because of the reasons that Jeremy points out in his first comment. Of course, it remains to be seen what measures they will ultimately take.

    I think I agree the most with Mike’s first comment: Nintendo can’t really ditch the Wii U so quickly because of the negative effects it would have on their market share and customer confidence, but they should take it as a learning experience (and really learn!) of what went wrong with it and take the time and invest their massive resources in making all the necessary steps to correct them in their next system. And accelerate the release of said system. Of course I’m not expecting it appearing next year or in two years, because designing and bringing a console to market is a lengthy process. But 2016 might be their best chance.

    Now, truth of the matter I’m not particularly bothered by Nintendo not following the power race of Microsoft and Sony and pushing state of the art consoles because I’m aware that their financial structure is not capable of sustaining the expenses (and if we have to be honest, financially wise, the only reason why the management of both Sony and Microsoft have not ditched the PlayStation and Xbox divisions is because they are using their consoles as Trojan horses for their respective multimedia businesses, Sony is just more subtle about it than Microsoft).

    But it can’t be denied that Nintendo’s conservatism when it comes to embracing certain new trends in technology and business has hit them hard and can even be argued to be the major source of all of their troubles. Overall, this article describes many of the areas that need to be addressed as soon as possible: Improve their online infrastructure to get it more in line with Xbox Live and PSN, make a proper unified account system, improve the functionality and discoverability of the e-shop, solve the current issues with the Virtual Console lack of content, etc. Not to mention that, considering how ill-prepared they were to tackle HD development, they also need to take the necessary steps to improve their internal capacity and development resources.

    They also need to dial back with the self-serving practices and start taking the feedback of 3rd parties and indie developers into account and support them better. And definitely give more freedom to Nintendo of America and to their first and second party developers in the West.

    I’m fine with Nintendo not producing themselves the kind of “deep”, “mature”. cinematic experiences that Rockstar, Bioware, and many other developers push on the Xbox and PlayStation ecosystems. It’s not their forte, and their strengths are better suited to games that prioritize gameplay and fun over story. But it’s certainly a hole in their library that needs to be addressed. They have studios like Retro and Monolith Soft that could leverage that part, but their output is obviously limited, so they need to get more 1st and 2nd parties as well as more exclusive agreements like those they have with Platinum and Next Level. Giving NoA the necessary level of freedom to negotiate and support those kind of agreements with Western developers would be a step in the right direction. Hell, if I’m remembering right, that’s more or less how they got Rare, Retro, Factor 5 and Silicon Knights onboard.

    And of course, there is also the issue of making the Wii U, if not a big success, at least profitable in the meantime (or in the worst case scenario, minimize the bleeding of cash on it). I’m not sure about releasing a Gamepad less Wii U. Truth of the matter, I like the Gamepad as a concept because it seems like a very versatile interface, but very few games have made good use of its potential, and most of Nintendo incoming games (at least, those of which we know about) don’t seem to use it extensively, so maybe discarding it would be a good idea to bring the console below the $200 USD pricing level and stimulate sales. The thing is that it could also bring troubles of fragmenting their audience even more, so I don’t know what might be their best option in that respect.Edited 3 times. Last edited January 2014 by docexe
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  • Avatar for SargeSmash #16 SargeSmash 3 years ago
    Succinctly, stay the course, and try again the next go-'round.
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  • Avatar for Critical_Hit #17 Critical_Hit 3 years ago
    The only way to really "save" Nintendo is to go back in time and punch some executives in the head until they stop being so xenophobic. The problems with the Big N are numerous & significant, and it's tied to a whole lot of outdated infrastructure. I mean, ignoring the goings-on in the industry from outside Japan - or even just outside their own company! - has screwed them up SUPER BAD by now.

    But a "quick fix" to improve the health of the Wii U would be to release a 3DS Player as quick as possible. That way they could do a few things - namely, advertise both platforms in every commercial. Piggyback off the success of their handheld immediately. Every big game for the 3DS suddenly becomes a big game you an play on your HDTV too - voila! The Wii U has exclusive Animal Crossing, Fire Emblem, and Pokemon titles it can call it's own! They also don't have to waste development dollars making two SKU's of the same game now, as is the case with titles such as Smash Bros. 3DS/Wii U. The dearth of 3rd party titles isn't such a problem when you got all those quality games coming from Atlus and Sega and Square and Level 5 or whatever.

    But really, that's a band-aid to be placed on a broken limb. This is the company that once was so forward-thinking that they brought digitally delivered games to the Super Famicom (Satelliview)... now they don't even see why a solid online infrastructure is important. As Nintendo fanboys constantly bemoan the lack of the online features in Wii U versions of multiplatform titles.

    They're a company FLUSH with cash from the success of the Wii, but who never contracted 3rd party studios to help start making exclusive Wii U games way back in 2010 when the releases for the Wii started to dry - the perfect time to recalibrate their business to their upcoming HD console. When THQ went out of business, did they think to snap up any new North American developers, experienced with HD game production? No. And now, when they do go asking for help from outside developers, they give us super safe releases from their best buddies at Tecmo-Koei. Instead of a bold,exciting collaboration from a new team, like a... I dunno, Lightbox-developed Star Fox game? Nope. We get Dynasty Warriors Zelda.

    I genuinely cannot believe this is the same company who once assembled a "Dream Team" to help design the would-be first wave of Nintendo "Ultra" 64 games! WESTERN DEVS, like Acclaim, Angel Studios, and frickin' DMA Design (now Rockstar North) were once WORKING EXCLUSIVELY FOR NINTENDO! On a system who's architecture was co-designed by Silicon Graphics because Nintendo wanted to get in front of the 3D graphic revolution back in 1993. It was their answer to rival Sega going to Lockheed Martin to help design the Model 1. WHERE IS THAT NINTENDO NOW?

    They make me sad. There's no quick fix. They're not the company they should be, and unless they get some new leadership, and decide to play a larger role on an international stage -- actually pay attention to things other people are doing -- than they're just going to slide more and more into irrelevance. Like Santa's Elves up in the North Pole, they live in a bubble world and they're laser focused on making fun toys 24/7. Which would be fine since they're so good at it. But if they've arrived at this point, why make hardware?
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  • Avatar for docexe #18 docexe 3 years ago
    @Critical_Hit I would just like to point out that, when it comes to big companies like Nintendo, there is never such thing as a quick fix. There are palliatives to deal with disease symptoms, but unless you engage in a proper long term plan to identify the roots of the disease and treat them, there is no solution. Of course, that also requires you to be aware of the disease in the first place. Most companies don’t realize how sick they are until it’s too late to do something about it. Given their size, any attempt at solving systemic or structural problems requires time, planning and resources. It can’t be done overnight.

    In this case, Nintendo’s primary advantage is their massive war chest that will keep them afloat regardless of the Wii U fortunes. Hopefully, two botched platform launches, three straight years of operating losses and their estimates failing by such a large margin will finally awaken them to the fact that, yes, they have some serious systemic problems that need to be addressed. Those problems can’t be solved in a month, or a year, but if by the time they release their next platform (whenever that is, 2016 or beyond), those problems have not been solved or at least addressed in a sufficiently reasonable manner, then it will be very clear that they are beyond hope and with no other option but abandoning the hardware race altogether.
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  • Avatar for pertusaria #19 pertusaria 3 years ago
    @chiptoon Agreed. I'm guessing it's not as bad here in Ireland, but the 3DS shelf space in the shops is maybe a third of what I remember the DS space being once upon a time. The DS games are still in the shops and taking up maybe another third. It's hard to see how the shops can stock much of a variety given these conditions. At least I have access to loads of games on download, but for the most part I'd rather get a cartridge. Also, I've only ever seen one 3DS store demo console, which seems a great pity.

    While Nintendo's at it, it might consider providing maps of more countries in StreetPass. There isn't one of Ireland, and I passed someone from Malaysia today and didn't get a map of her country either. That should be easy to fix and would help lift the feeling that small countries are getting the cold shoulder.
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